Apple prepping renewed attack on game industry with iPod, Apple TV, Mac OS X Leopard?

Apple Store“Apple could be preparing for a renewed attack on the game industry through products like the iPod and Apple TV. Certainly, many games are available for the Mac. Apple maintains a list of games on its Web site that are currently available for its technology, and that roster includes popular titles such as Age of Empires III and Civilization IV. And with the switch to Intel, it’s easier than ever to compare the performance of the Mac to other PCs on the market,” Tom Krazit reports for CNET News

“‘The Mac is faster and more powerful than ever, has stunning graphics and a growing list of popular games that our customers enjoy, including World of Warcraft, Prey and The Sims 2.0,’ Apple spokeswoman Lynn Fox said in a statement,” Krazit reports. “But with the notable exception of World of Warcraft, those games were available for Windows PCs long before they made their way onto Macs. Apple users often have to wait several months for new PC game titles to be ported over to Mac OS X, said Glenda Adams, director of development with Aspyr. Major game studios tend to develop for Windows and let others, such as Aspyr, port Windows games to the Mac platform, a process that can take several months, she said.”

Krazit reports, “While Apple took a big step forward with the addition of the OpenGL specification for 3D graphics to Mac OS X, it still doesn’t have an answer to the DirectX technology found in Windows, Morrison said. DirectX is a collection of APIs used by developers in their designs. OpenGL is ‘old tech’ compared to DirectX, said Jake Richter, an analyst with Jon Peddie Associates. And since DirectX can only be used with Microsoft’s software, Apple would have to undertake a significant development effort to come up with its own technology or encourage the development of a different open standard, he said.”

“Some believe Apple might have some enhancements planned for Leopard, the next version of Mac OS X that’s scheduled to arrive this spring. Last year at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, Steve Jobs demonstrated some graphics-friendly technology such as Core Animation, which will make it easier for developers to create high-powered graphics. It’s also possible that Jobs has other surprises in mind for this year’s show, scheduled for June,” Krazit reports.

“Programs like Boot Camp and Apple’s quiet approach to Mac gaming seems to indicate that the company has made a decision to let the Windows companies pursue the hard-core gamer, said Stephen Baker, an analyst with The NPD Group,” Krazit reports. “But Apple, despite having the horsepower to satisfy those gamers with products like the Mac Pro, doesn’t need that category as much as the rest of the PC world, Baker said. ‘That segment is profitable to (Windows) guys because they don’t have a solid way to make themselves profitable in the low-end market,’ Baker said. ‘But Apple is more profitable off the bat. They don’t have to go searching for those smaller niches, their main niches are already relatively profitable.'”

Much more in the full article here.

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Apple looking for in-house game developer staff, preps ‘Apple TV’ retail store push (with Sony LCDs) – February 15, 2007
Apple embraces casual gaming; iPhone, Apple TV to join iPod as gaming devices – February 09, 2007
Former GM of Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade: Apple TV to become video game console – February 08, 2007
ZDNet’s Graham: Apple TV hits a number of sweet spots, poised to make a big impact – January 25, 2007
Is Apple out to kill cable television? – January 25, 2007
RUMOR: Apple TV sales blowing away Apple’s internal expectations – January 25, 2007
Steve Jobs: Apple TV is the ‘DVD player for the 21st century’ – January 22, 2007
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Report: first batch of 100,000 Apple TVs to ship this month – January 11, 2007
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Apple premieres Apple TV: movies, TV shows, music & photos on your big screen TV – January 09, 2007
RUMOR: Apple may enter video game market – December 05, 2006
Could Apple become king of game consoles? – September 26, 2006

22 Comments

  1. The evidence of enhancements being built into MacOS X Leopard are already out there for many to see. The latest patch to World of Warcraft (v. 2.0.7) makes the following very clear indication of Apple’s future direction in the release notes for this patch:

    “Stability improvements in Multi-Threaded OpenGL support on future OS X releases.”

    Some interesting advancements are indeed around the corner. Multi-threaded OpenGL has already made a huge difference in frame rates for World of Warcraft….

  2. “”But with the notable exception of World of Warcraft, those games were available for Windows PCs long before they made their way onto Macs.”

    Thats because Blizzard is teh roxxorz and releases titles simultaneously.
    Part of me wishes Apple would buy Blizzard and make them their game developer.

  3. I am bored. I want Apple to buy something big soon. MWSF didn’t do much for me and I am in need of some big bold moves on Apples part. Yea iPhone and all, but I won’t be getting one for a couple of years.

  4. I sincerely hope this means Apple will be getting games on the Mac as they come out or soon after. Right now gamers with a Mac just don’t have the same environment as the PC guys do.

    MW : Line, as in, break this line of attrition!

    War is Peace

  5. The replies to this article hit the nail on the head. Sure, there are games for the mac, but it takes Aspyr 6 months to a year to port them.

    Apple needs to encourage NATIVE game development. Cross-platform would serve them as well. Gaming is NOT a niche market, more dollars are spent on games than any other consumer software.

    I really am hoping Apple is taking heed of this and working on better (and hopefully cross-platform) development tools to encourage developers to release native games for the Mac.

  6. Apple needs this market because of one thing. Almost all programmers play games. So if they can get that market it will have an effect on the mainstream Applications that support the Mac and therefore increase market share over all.

    Also, Tech support people tend to play games and these tech savvy people are who the regular person goes to to ask what computer they need.

    How many normal people have been trapped into the Windows crap world by advice from a techie that would not recommend an apple because he saw it as inferior because it can’t run Half-life, in spite of the fact that the average user would be better served with a Mac?

  7. “Part of me wishes Apple would buy Blizzard and make them their game developer.”

    Would have been sweet. Too bad Vivendi snapped them up a few years ago. No way they’ll be letting that cash cow go anytime soon.

  8. “Part of me wishes Apple would buy Blizzard and make them their game developer.”

    Why? Blizzard already offers great support to the mac and is very profitable. Apple would be better served by grabbing ncsoft and bringing their games to the mac.

    Better yet, Under the MS cross-licensing agreement, Apple could simply reverse engineer DirectX 9 and add that API to OS-X and bribe a few companies to do the quick recompile.

    Apple will not do this but, it would be the fastest way to bring the games to the mac – there are third party companies doing it, so Apple could just buy one and clean it up and market it. Give away a few macs to game studios and open the flood gates.

  9. “Would have been sweet. Too bad Vivendi snapped them up a few years ago. No way they’ll be letting that cash cow go anytime soon.”

    Sadly, Im aware of this. It would have been great though.
    I just wish they’d get going and release Diablo3 because Im not interested in WoW.

  10. “LOL @ the idea of the gaming market being niche”

    Technically, games ARE a niche market. They certainly are for Apple. But one could argue that they are also a niche for Microsoft given that most of their money is made on OS sales to government, schools, and businesses, organizations who never run a single game on their computers.

    Games are popular with a certain segment of the PC buying public. Specifically young males. In order for gaming to be shown to NOT be a niche one would have to know how many PCs are sold with the express (or nearly so) purpose of running games. Since most PCs are not sold for the express purpose of gaming, then ergo, gaming is a niche.

    That is not to say that Macs are also not filling a niche. But that niche is there largely because of consumer ignorance and not because of some weakness on the part of the Mac.

    It just so happens that Macs can do nearly anything a Windows PC can do – only better. Since this is the case, one could argue that, in practical terms, it is Microsoft that is selling to a niche market since it is unable to address the needs of the majority of computer users, meanwhile, Apple is.

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